When Matthew Chaffee was introduced to the world of adaptive sports, it changed the way he views his disability.
“I learned to be more independent,” said Matthew, who was paralyzed in a 2014 motorcycle crash. “I’ve met people with all types of disabilities, and everyone has their own way of doing things. The more I learn, the less disabled I feel.”
Matthew, 28, was introduced to handcycling through Mary Free Bed Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports, one of the largest programs of its kind in the country. A fitness buff, he began adding weekly rides to his workout routine and competed with the Mary Free Bed handcycling team in the 2017 River Bank Run.
Since then, his love for handcycling grew. So did his desire to compete. He got a faster handcycle and a cycling computer, upped his training regimen and got down to business. On Monday, he’ll be one of 60 handcyclists who qualified to compete in the Boston Marathon. (Click here for details on how to watch race results. Matthew’s bib number is H3, Handcycle Division.)
“I love pushing my limits, learning and growing as much as I can,” Matthew said. “I’m the fittest I have ever been in my life and keep hitting new peaks. This has become my passion.”
In this video, Matthew shares the personal journey that brings him to Boston and his even bigger plans for the future.